colourful, outstanding costume
drama Mary, Queen Of Scots has been
unavailable since its original theatrical
release nearly forty years ago and now
re-emerges with its 2010 DVD debut to
enchant a new generation... STARRING TWO OF BRITAIN'S FINEST actresses in major roles, Mary,
Queen Of Scots was nominated for five Oscars. With a cast of instantly-recognisable
home-grown acting talent, this classic costume drama is a fine film, produced
on an epic scale and standing the test of time.
In the year 1558, England and Scotland is divided by family and religion. On
the death of her beloved husband François, the King of France (Richard Denning),
the Catholic Queen of Scotland Mary Stuart (Vanessa Redgrave: Julia)
returns to Scotland, stung by the accusations of her mother-in-law Catherine
de Medici (Katherine Kath). She will claim the throne protected by her half-brother
James (Patrick McGoohan), the illegitimate son of her late father, James V of
She plans to travel through England in order to meet and repair her damaged
relationship with her cousin Queen Elizabeth I (Glenda Jackson: Women in
Love), but Elizabeth refuses to either see her or to offer her safe passage
to Scotland unless she renounces her claim to the English throne. She is instead
escorted by sea by Lord Bothwell (Nigel Davenport) and during the journey English
ships seize Bothwell's ship, which was transporting Mary's magnificent stable
With her mother dead and supported by her Uncles François, The Duc de Guise
(Vernon Dobtcheff) and Cardinal de Guise (Raf de la Torre), Mary finds herself
in a largely Protestant country with only a Jesuit priest, Father Ballard (Tom
Fleming) and lute-player singer Davie Riccio (Ian Holm), an agent of the Pope,
as her allies.
Believing that she, not the Protestant Elizabeth, is the rightful Queen of England,
the staunchly-Catholic Mary falls headlong into a fight for power. Mary,
Queen Of Scots is the story of the rival Queens, set against a backdrop
of greed, treachery and carnage.
Can Mary even trust her own brother, who appears to be tolerant towards both
Catholics and Protestants, but suspiciously seems to know more than he should.
Or even Bothwell, who pursues Mary even though he already has a wife, the former
Lady Jean Gordon (Maria Aitken). Is Mary's marriage to Henry, Lord Darnley (Timothy
Dalton) all that it seems and is it doomed to end in disaster?
Elizabeth has troubles of her own, with her beloved Robert Dudley (Daniel Massey)
accused of murdering his own wife and unable to return to court unless he is
found innocent. But she is determined to keep Mary firmly under control.
When Mary gives birth to a son, the childless Elizabeth is shaken. There is
further tragedy for Mary and the conflict will inevitably end only with the
death of one of the Queens but which one? If you know your English history,
you'll already know the answer!
Mary, Queen Of Scots is a passionate and energetic costume drama about the
last Catholic ruler of Scotland, who faces religious persecution from her Protestant
subjects. An inspired film with luminaries Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson
heading a talented cast that includes the fabulous Patrick McGoohan.
With such respected actors at the helm, Mary, Queen Of Scots is powerful viewing,
telling the story from both Elizabeth and Mary's points of view as the Scottish
Queen embraces her fate.
Mary, Queen Of Scots also features: Trevor Howard as William Cecil; Andrew
Keir as Ruthven; Beth Harris as Mary Seton; Frances White as Mary Fleming; Jeremy
Bulloch as Andrew; and Robert James as John Knox. Director of Photography is
Christopher Challis; Art Director is Robert Cartwright; Costume Designer is
Margaret Furse; Music is Composed and Conducted by John Barry; Original Screenplay
is by John Hale; Produced by Hal B Wallis; and Directed by Charles Jarrott.
Mary, Queen Of Scots was filmed at Shepperton Studios, Middlesex and on
location at Chateau de Chinonceaux, France; Hermitage Castle, Scotland; Alnwick
and Bamburgh Castles in Northumberland and at Parham Park, Sussex.
Surprisingly unavailable since its original
theatrical release almost 40 years ago, the lavish Tudor power play Mary,
Queen Of Scots finally makes its DVD debut, courtesy of Second Sight, on
1 February (2010). RRP: £15.99 | Catalogue No: 2NDVD3173.
Bonus features include: Isolated John Barry music track | Commentary by film
historians Nick Redman and Jon Burlingame | Overture and Intermission music|
Promotional featurette. Includes subtitles for hard of hearing. The film opens
to the beautiful Vivre et Mourir by John Barry.
"Mary, Queen Of Scots… An inspired film with luminaries Vanessa Redgrave
and Glenda Jackson heading a talented cast" Maggie Woods, MotorBar
"Two of Britain's finest actresses shine in tailor-made roles" Radio